There are few religious observations in the world with the solemnity and consecrating power of Ramadan, with its month of fasting, observance, and dedication. Consequently, there are few celebrations with as much joy and happiness as Eid al-Fitr, held at the end of Ramadan. It’s a time of cheer, joy, and gratitude.
And while that’s the basic outline—fasting during Ramadan, celebrating at Eid—there is no one way to recognize Eid. How could there be? Islam is a global religion that incorporates the traditions and heritage of wherever its practitioners are. The sweets are regional, the music is local, and the shape of the party is personal.
That’s why, especially in America, you see more and more Secret Santa at Eid celebrations. The giving of gifts is universal, and the surprise element of it is something that everyone loves. Secret Santa gift exchanges are a fun way to incorporate the communal spirit of Eid into your gathering, and make the feast one to remember.
Just as there is no one way to celebrate Eid, there is no one way to run a Secret Santa for Eid. Here are a few tips that you can use to make your end of Ramadan memorable, personal, and joyous. Eid Mubarak!
Why Have a Secret Santa for Eid
A couple of years ago, my good friend Ramy invited me to his Eid celebration. He said that they were going to be trying out a Secret Santa gift exchange (he knows I’m kind of a fan of them). Of course, I was honored to be invited to such a beautiful celebration and was curious why he decided to incorporate the Secret Santa into it.
He laughed and said bluntly, “Because it’s fun.”
When asked to elaborate a bit, Ramy went on to tell me that the whole point of Eid is to celebrate life with the people you love. The prior month of fasting isn’t a punishment, but a time of reflection, charity, and grace. You think about what matters and purge what doesn’t. You let everything petty and meaningless and mean fall away. And at the end, what’s left? Family. Friends. Love.
That’s why he decided to do a Secret Santa. You get to truly think about someone, and think about what they will like to get, and you get to see the joy in their face when they open it. You get to make them happy. And you get to have the fun of people trying to guess who chose each gift. It’s joyful, and filled with laughter. It’s a celebration of togetherness. So, as Ramy told me, it fits perfectly into Eid.
So if you want to celebrate the end of Ramadan with a gift exchange, here are a few tips.
How to Host a Secret Santa for Eid
Hosting a Secret Santa for Eid takes some preparation. Luckily, there are ways to make it easy for everyone.
Let People Know This Year’s Eid Will Have a Gift Exchange
If a gift exchange is a new tradition for your Eid, you’ll want to make sure people know in advance. They need time to think about their gift, to buy a gift, and to prepare. Ramadan can get busy, so plan your Eid party with enough time so that guests can fully participate.
Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Play
Secret Santa gift exchanges aren’t exactly complicated, but not everyone knows all the rules of Secret Santa. So make sure that people know the basics.
- Make your wishlist
- Draw names so that you have a giftee (and access to their gift list)
- Get their gift!
- Exchange, and have the giftee try to guess who their Secret Santa is
That’s the basic structure, of course. But you can add whatever twist you’d like to make it personal. Here are some more tips to get started on your Secret Santa.
Find a Virtual Secret Santa Generator
Years ago, Secret Santa meant drawing names out of a literal hat or a jar. That could be fun, but it also meant everyone had to be in the same room. And since people often come from far away for Eid, it won’t always work.
But an online Secret Santa generator makes everything so much easier. For one thing, it allows people to “draw” names at random from anywhere in the world. That way, no one is left out, and when you get together you can do your gift exchange easily.
Not only that, but an online generator can help you find gifts. The right generator allows you to create a list from hundreds of the largest online retailers. You can filter it to make an Eid gift list, which is really helpful if you want to have a themed party. That way, you can find the best Eid gifts for traditional gift-giving for adults and children.
Needless to say, the gifts don’t have to be Eid-related. That’s entirely up to you.
The best part of the generator is that your Secret Santa can, with just a couple of clicks, buy directly from your list. They don’t have to go to the store.
That’s important for an Eid celebration. It means that your guests don’t have to exert much extra effort during a time of fasting. They don’t have to be thinking about shopping during a time of reflection. They can just focus on what matters.
A Celebration of Eid Traditions
However you celebrate Eid, we hope it is a time of joy and fellowship. That’s why starting an Eid gift exchange is a great way to be together. During your reflection, you can think about what will make your giftee happiest. You can think about the laughter you will share during Eid. You can think about togetherness.
Ramadan and Eid aren’t in opposition. The joy of Eid exists due to the sacrifice of Ramadan. It is a joy because Ramadan reminds you of what is important. Your faith, your family, your friends—the things you love. Making Secret Santa part of Eid isn’t surprising. Eid is Ramadan’s gift. And having a gift for each other at the end is as sweet as baklava.
If you’re doing a Secret Santa for Eid, you want a Secret Santa generator that makes everything go smoothly. Elfster makes it easy to pair people up, shop for gifts, and start a Wishlist. Plus, you can access it all from an iPhone app or Android app.